Since there will be two more MOONLIGHT KIN books this year, I decided to rebrand the series so that the covers all go together. Here is a look at the new covers for A WOLF’S TALE and AIDAN’S MATE. I hope you like them.
Right now, I am switching between two fiction books, BURN FOR ME by Cynthia Eden and IMPULSE by Steven Gould and two non-fiction books, HOW NOT TO WRITE A NOVEL by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman and WRITING FICTION FOR ALL YOU’RE WORTH by James Scott Bell. I’m really enjoying all of them. Each one is an entertaining read. I was expecting the non-fiction books to be dry, but have been pleasantly surprised. HOW NOT TO WRITE A NOVEL is actually kind of funny.
Next up on the reading front will be TWICE TEMPTED by Jeaniene Frost. I absolutely loved the first book in the series, ONCE BURNED and cannot wait for book 3′s release. No idea when that will happen, but I live in hope that it’s soon. (i.e. this year.;) I’ve actually held off reading TWICE TEMPTED because I wanted to wait until book three was on the horizon.
I’m enjoying BURN FOR ME so much that I plan to pick up ONCE BITTEN, TWICE BURNED, when it comes out in April. I am a little mad at Barnes and Noble though. I went into the store to buy the paperback version of BURN FOR ME–so I could put it on my keeper shelf–and they didn’t have any of Cynthia Eden’s books. Like NONE! I glared at the bookshelf, but that didn’t seem to help. And they wonder why people order online…sigh.
On the work front, I am currently re-editing my YA. Since it finaled in a contest, I am paranoid and want it to be perfect. I’ve also started work on a MOONLIGHT KIN novella. This will be Nic La Croix’s story. He was the mechanic that worked at Aidan’s estate, who had a crush on Jenna Dane (i.e. Aidan’s Mate). So far I’m really enjoying the story. He’s sworn off human females and is nursing a bit of a broken heart. His determination and behavior to stay clear of humans left me no choice but to throw one in front of him that he couldn’t resist. Too bad she’s kind of clueless when it comes to men. Her nose is always buried in books. She’s more at home with the animals she has rescued. (She’s a vet student that puts Dr. Doolittle to shame. *ggg) I can’t wait until Nic goes to her home and encounters her one-eyed cat, her three-legged dog, her ferret, her two smart-mouthed parrots, and her frog collection. They’re going to take one whiff of him and all hell is going to break loose. LOL! Anyway, this story isn’t going to write itself. Time to get back to work.
I watched this interesting Moby interview the other day. It was actually done back in 2011, I believe. Anyway, he was discussing the changes happening in the music industry and how they affected musicians and the record companies. What I found interesting about the interview was how closely it paralleled the publishing industry. The whole thing got me thinking about what it means to be a writer, what it means to be a musician, and what it means to be an artist.
Ease brings laziness. What I mean by that is the digital revolution has made creating ‘art’ (for lack of a better word) MUCH easier to do. This is both good and bad. The good comes from creative types having access to audiences they might never have connected with otherwise. There are very few gatekeepers now, so the playing field is level for the first time. You can download musical programs that don’t require learning how to play an instrument. You can create songs and throw them up online for the world to hear. Are they great songs? Most of the time the answer is no. The same thing is happening with drawing. There are programs that help you produce art. Does Renoir have anything to worry about? No. The changes in the publishing industry have allowed people to write stories and immediately publish them without ever thinking about learning craft. There is an innate laziness that comes from ease of use. I think as creators we have to fight the urge to take the easy way out. Creating ‘good’ art is hard work. And frankly, it should be. You should have to work for every note, every brush stroke, and every word on a page. Your audience will appreciate it and you’ll take pride in your creation.
The old saying, “If it was easy, then everyone would do it”, doesn’t apply anymore. Because everyone IS doing it–thanks to the ease of access. The only saving grace about this major shift is that all work is NOT created equal. The people who put in the time to learn their craft will always end up in a better position. It may take them a little longer, but this isn’t a sprint. It’s a ultra-marathon.
I can draw a comic face, but that doesn’t mean I’m an artist.
I can sing, but that doesn’t mean I’m an entertainer.
I can play clarinet, but that doesn’t mean I’m a songwriter.
Here is a quick definition of an artist: Artists are persons having superior skill or ability, or who are capable of producing superior work.
If you’re not trying to become the definition of an artist, then you’re being lazy. And lazy will only get you so far.
I’ve had to keep the site static for the last couple of weeks because we’ve been changing servers. No updates. No new blogs. No coming soon changes. You get the picture. But the site is now up and running, so expect to see several changes over the next week or so. I have new coming soon announcements and a few new covers, but not all of them yet. I will have them soon. I think you’re going to love them. In the meantime, I have some links to fix. (They broke during the change over.) Everything should be up and running in no time.
If you’ve sent me an email in the last couple of days, it’s a good possibility that I haven’t received it. My email is down. We are working on it, so hopefully it’ll be back up and running tonight. Thanks for your patience.
UPDATE: Looks like my email is back up. So if you sent me something, please resend. Thanks!
I’m off to a good reading start in the new year. I’ve finished three books so far and have several almost done. I’ve also dove into a new one called HELL BENT by Devon Monk. So far I’m really liking it, but I like smartass characters. I really hope that as the writing gets more intense that I can keep up this level of reading. I was disappointed with the number of books that I read last year–even though the Goodreads’ final number was off. (They don’t count multiple reads and I’m not the best at updating my list.)
Thus far this year has been interesting. I’ve been making a lot of career decisions that frankly I wouldn’t have made three years ago. (i.e. Cutting conferences from my to-do list, quitting critique groups due to my insane writing schedule, etc.) It all boils down to putting the writing first. Up to this point, it’s been a major priority, but it hasn’t always been first. It is this year and I’m curious to see if it makes a difference. I can’t imagine that it won’t, since I’ll also be taking craft classes to better my writing skills, but it’ll be interesting to see how much.
I am still in London. Will be for a few more days. Today was a beautiful day. Enjoyed a nice walk. Looked at some ice sculptors. (They hadn’t finished their creations so all we could do is look at them.;) And had a great meal at a tapas restaurant. Probably shouldn’t have had the Cava sangria, but boy was it good. Now I need a nap. *ggg
For the last week, I’ve been putting together a schedule of sorts for 2014. I wrote 140,000 words in 2013 and frankly that wasn’t nearly enough. I allowed edits of backlist titles to once again sidetrack me from new work. Yes, they had to get done, but not at the expense of new words. That is only one of the things I plan to address in 2014, but first I’d like to take a moment to look back on 2013.
2013 wasn’t a bad year for me, but it did its best to slaughter several of my friends. Two of which will continue to fight for their lives in the new year. I hope 2014 is kinder to them all.
Sales slipped from 2012, but I still came out pretty good overall. I relaunched my Dead World series and was reminded again about how poor of a marketer I am. I know there are authors who thrive on marketing/promo. I am NOT one of those people. Yes, I know I have to do it. I’ve made peace with that fact, but I don’t have to like it. That said, I plan to take a few classes to better understand what’s needed. Maybe it will make things easier.
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend much of the summer in the UK, where I got to do a lot of Doctor Who and Harry Potter things. It was lovely and I had a hard time leaving. Fortunately, they let me keep my wand and sonic screwdriver.
The year ended with a pleasant surprise. I found out that a young adult novel I entered in a contest had finaled. It was wonderful news and totally unexpected given it was up against New Adult titles, too. It’s been sent off for final judging (an agent and an editor). I have no expectations, so we’ll just see what happens.
Now back to 2014. I’ve divided my writing schedule into quarters and have included the conferences I plan to attend. It’s going to be a conference heavy year–probably my last. I like going to them–especially when I get to see my friends–but these days I don’t get a lot out of them. And if I’m being perfectly honest, they cut into my writing time too much.
Here’s the year breakdown in a nutshell (things can change depending on what happens):
Since my first YA finaled in that contest, I’m going to take the time to go through it again. Even though I’ve had it professionally edited, I want to make sure the book shines. I’m also putting together another YA partial that I started a year or so ago. I want to have something different to present if needed. (These will all be written under a different pen name.) The first quarter does include a Moonlight Kin novella and perhaps a box set release. I’m still thinking about the latter. Not sure if it’s a good idea, since it’s been done to death.
Second quarter will see the launch of my Death Angels series and the release of Crimson (Book 3 of the Dead World). I’m also going to finish writing another young adult. I’ll be attending the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans and hopefully Phoenix ComiCon. I’ll have to wait to see if I’m invited to the latter.
Third quarter I plan to write another young adult novel and the third Moonlight Kin novel. I’m pretty sure that will keep me plenty busy. (Notice a theme?)
Fourth quarter will be spent writing a follow up to my Blood Lite 2 anthology story. I’m looking forward to diving back into noir urban fantasy. I may also experiment with a new genre this quarter, but it’ll depend on where I’m at in the schedule. If I do experiment, it will again be under a different pen name.
If everything goes well, I will write over 300,000 words in 2014. It WILL be a challenge, but it is doable. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot.
Hope your 2014 is happy, healthy, and filled with abundance.